Link

A partially edited interview with Jennifer Bond, Clinical Nurse Specialist at Geelong Hospital

I have had difficulties when editing this audio file, so have provided one short (but still several minutes long) clip from a series of interviews I have performed while learning about the challenges and wider perspectives of teen pregnancy and education.

In this interview, Jenny Bond discusses her role as a specialist nurse in the outpatient’s clinic at Geelong Hospital. An aspect of her career in outpatient provisions, is perform  accompanying young girls during their obstetric exams. She undertakes this role since law requires anyone under 18 years of age, must have an adult with them while being physically examined by a Dr.

At the 4 minute.15 second mark, Jenny discusses her views on maternal age. She sees child birth at a younger age is safer and less complicated than at a mature age.  Her perspective comes form years of midwifery experience and clinical practice. She acknowledges that girls are getting their first periods earlier with each generation and they are physically ready for pergnancy and delivery at earlier ages than in previous years.

Pitch and First Draft Sample

My focus for the feature article is the educational opportunities and support services available to pregnant teens and young parents in the Geelong region.

Our local area has some ground breaking programs of educational reform, which ensure that beginning a family young does not need to mark the end to formal learning.

For someone under 19 years of age who has the huge responsibility of raising a child, the traditional school system may not feel relevant.

Add sleepless nights, nappy changing, health concerns, the potential of post natal depression, breast feeding challenges, sense of isolation and constantly learning on the job… a teen parent has very little in common with their peers. Disconnections from the authoritative school structure and from their past social network is understandable.

My feature will illustrate that schooling is more complex with a family, but not impossible. Finishing school can be done with the right support, an open mind, a bit of flexibility and a determined  attitude. Most importantly, it requires knowing how to access help.

Education truly is the key to having freedom. It enables the ability to make choices for a more financially secure future, for the student and for their children.

To prepare for the writing of my of feature, I have conducted extensive online research. I continue to examine the local, statewide, Australian and international approaches to education and the ways that teen pregnancy impacts future individual’s expectations. I have looked into a range of statistical data to gain numerical understandings of the effects that teen pregnancy has upon individuals and on society.  I observed a range of opinions shown within previously published pieces relating to the subject, in order to gather community view points, observe existing alternative educational structures supporting pregnant teens and methods by which young parents reject societal stereotypes.

I aim to investigate how individuals cope with and work beyond prejudice.

After researching the support mechanisms provided by local agencies, I explored how the assistance available to  young families is discovered and accepted.  I made contact with many of the regional organisations and have conducted a series of face to face interviews. I wanted to hear what stakeholders on the front line experienced and how they felt about the delivery of their programs.

I met with several local representatives involved in providing education, maternal assistance and child health care along with professionals in other support services. I was curious to see what they felt was missing in education provision, who they most needed to reach, what successes they can boast of and what lessons there are for the future.

After my research and interviews, I am fully equipped to write a well informed piece to highlight the challenges, accomplishments, opinions and ambitions surrounding my central themes. I have a wide range of views and attitudes to reflect and report from.

My research techniques, involved primary and secondary sources, taking of photographs, developing the images into a slideshow, investigating the individuals who have great input, setting up interviews, recording audio files of the interviews, learning how and then editing  audio files, discovering how to and developing a youtube presence, exploring how blog formats operate and generating this blog, researching with RSS feeds, connecting with online communities, attaching feeds and hyperlinks to the blog, putting part of one of my interviews onto this blog and developing a map of my story.

My aim is to write a feature article which provides personal profiles, suggestions for way to access pregnancy and educational assistance, challenge existing stereotypes, outlines the benefits of continuing education for young parents and make historical comparisons between experiences today and that of young pregnant women’s past treatment by society.

I have developed a rough draft, embedded with hyperinks which illustrates the tone, research usage, angle and substance of my feature. The following paragraphs are possibly the start of my feature…

CHILDREN WITH CHILDREN

I was at secondary school as Midnight Oil, Culture Club and INXS ruled the top 40 charts. Back then, like in ever other era, occasionally a student became pregnant. The coping strategy for this life event was hiding in an oversized uniform until the bump could no longer be disguised. Upon discovery, the girl had one simple choice; to drop out of school and fade into oblivion. The remaining students usually then labelled her a ‘tart’, gossiped about her lack of future prospects and claimed she got what she deserved for not keeping her legs crossed. The teaching staff, relieved to be rid of their problem student, would hold a moral high-ground, rarely mentioning the student again. The rare use of her name would only have been while on their highly respectable, religious soap boxes, to issue other potential sluts with a cautionary tale. Apparently, those who lived puritanically righteous lives had the world at their feet. Meanwhile the girl had to hope for the support of her family, or potentially the father of her unborn child before she could later access a single parent’s pension.

By the end of the freeloving hippie revolution, as Australian soldiers were conscripted into the Vietnam war and at the time the contraceptive pill first became available, quite different approach to the issue of teen pregnancy. According to government figures, Seven thousand, eight hundred and twenty adoptions took place in Australia.

To Be Continued…

Once my feature story has been completed, I aim to have it published in magazines, in newspapers and online in targeted forums. My feature could easily be voiced as a radio story, or could appear in multimedia platforms, using visual, audio, graphic design and the written word, combined.  While the story has been written to showcase the local approach to the issues, it could be easily reformatted to have a wider appeal for a broader regional, interstate or international readership. The issues are not specific to our region, so the piece would have value and interest globally.

My target publication market is where ever there is an interest in community issues, families, pregnancy, education, health, emotional well being, parenthood, teen issues, childhood, local resourcing, alternative learning strategies and publications which strengthen communities.

Examples of specific publications I could send my story to would include obvious ones such as the Geelong Advertiser, Geelong and Surf Coast News, the Geelong and Surf Coast Independents and Geelong’s Baby and Child Magazine. I would be more ambitious and may submit to larger and interstate newspapers which have education and health supplements such as; The Australian NewspaperThe Canberra TimesSydney Morning HeraldNorthern Territory NewsBrisbane Courier MailThe Adelaide AdvertiserThe Hobart MercuryThe Melbourne Age or The West Australian. I am also interested in pursuing publications which have family and/or educational focus. These would include; The Conversation (Online), Curriculum Leadership (electronic teaching journal), Education Today (magazine), Educations Services Australia (Ministerial and business online educational publication), Practical Parenting (Magazine), Nurture Parenting (Magazine and online formats), Child Magazines (produced for each capital city), Happy Child (Magazine), Parenting Ideas (magazine), Australian Family (Online and magazine formats), Family Circle (Magazine), Australian Family (Magazine), Australian Woman’s Weekly (Magazine), Baby & Child (Magazine) or Parenting Ideas (Magazine).

There are also numerous websites and overseas publications that would be suitable to market my story to.

Photo slideshow of my research, interview subjects and central themes

This slideshow has developed from the photos I have taken, some images from a friend and  pictures sourced online during my research.

These shots illustrate my feature article’s central theme; Geelong’s educational support structures for our young parents and pregnant secondary students.

Extracts from some of my audio interviews are attached to another post.

Northern Bay College helps young families

Nothern Bay College

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Northern Bay College helps young families

Northern Bay Secondary College’s Goldworthy Road Campus has a revolutionary approach to teaching and learning. This pioneering facility acknowledges that a number of Geelong’s secondary students face massive obstacles to learning as they are teenaged parents.

Northern Bay College has an on-site family centre, a kindergarten and child care centre and close by, a primary school, for members of the local community and the school’s students. The College provides assistance for each student’s individual needs. Throughout  pregnancy, and at every educational transition from birth through to year twelve, Northern Bay College supports continued learning

Dedicated student wellbeing staff ensure ongoing emotional and physical support is provided to cater to the diverse needs of the school’s students, teen parents and their children.

Youth learning

Diversitat provides the community with a range of learning opportunities.

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Youth learning: Young parents Jess with daughter Lilly and Jackie with Oliver during young parenting classes at the South Barwon branch of Diversitat.

The Diversitat community centre is an amazing local resource which exists to generate access and equity for some of our most underprivileged, disengaged, uneducated and disabled individuals.

Diversitat services provide a broad rage of individuals with information, classes, resources and representation to help them build better futures. Diversitat assists with integrating members of the community who face challenges because of their age, ability levels, language background, pregnancy and illiteracy.

Link

Pregnancy

Forced Adoption

The Australian Government was in a unique position on March 21st, 2013, as it publicly acknowledged the wrongs caused by past political leaders. The apology recognised the depth of pain felt by numerous women and children because of legally forced adoption. The apology was made by our Prime Minister on behalf of our entire government.

Hopefully this action will enable the victims of forced adoptions to access much needed assistance and begin their healing.

Link

Research

One of the most valuable sources of information: ABS

I use the Australian Bureau of Statistics website in order to access a vast range of statistical data.

This enables me to generate highly informed and well researched pieces of feature reportage.

The ABS provides access to historically and social relevant information as the statistical data is interpreted by leading demographers, statisticians and researchers. This research and information gathering is necessary for a thorough comprehension of issues  surrounding an article’s central theme.